A bright and shiny new bar ‘Catacombs’ has risen from the rotten carcass known as 10Bar. The morgue-turned-nightclub has had some serious renovations including new floors, white marble bars and some macabre decorations.
Andre Shi, the owner of Catacombs and Vault 21, drew inspiration from the space’s dark origins as a morgue, as well as the Paris catacombs that have drawn ravers and royals throughout history. The skulls adorning the walls and refurbished white marble bars are trying to emulate a decadent Parisian experience.
Exploiting a gap in the Dunedin bar and club scene, Catacombs is looking to show students what a real ‘VIP’ club experience can feel like. Currently, the club is granting a few lucky students every night a chance to be looked after in the lounge, providing a view onto the dance floor and a booth of their own. A booth can also be purchased, with drinks included, for an evening, if you’re looking for a night of glamour on the town.
Currently there is no door charge, but this is likely to change in the coming months. With most drinks around $7, pricing is pretty standard, but the sound quality makes it pretty outstanding. With four subwoofers in the stage itself and five more in the ceiling, the music is crystal clear, while maintaining the volume required to keep the vibe elevated. The old club had a singular speaker, and any music lover or D&B connoisseur will definitely notice a difference.
Given the pre-drinking culture in New Zealand, and especially Dunedin, owning a bar or club can be a risky business venture. As a Dunedin local, Shi knew this and did it anyway. Why? “I grew up here,” Shi said, “I know the culture, and I know how dangerous flat parties can be.” The main inspiration for opening the club was to create a space where students can let loose and enjoy themselves, but remain in a safe environment.
Still, in early days, we have yet to see how Catacombs will fit in with the rest of the Octy’s established bars. Hopefully, it can achieve Shi’s goal of allowing people to let off some steam and enjoy themselves while staying safe.